I woke up to my alarm clock singing Toto's, "Rosanna." Is that a good thing? Is that a good start to the day, along with the being able to breathe bit? I'm not sure if one negates the other. I'm used to waking up to Christmas music. Not sure if I'm ready not to wake up to Christmas music. I probably am. And I should totally still be sleeping in too! I have four days of Christmas vacation left. I just enjoy the quiet of the morning, so very much. I've already read about seven blogs, had a cup of coffee, done the checkbook, and wrote on my Wall on Facebook. This could be a good day. It could be bad too.
This is the one year anniversary of my 11-yr-old dog, Calvin, passing away. This was a very bad day a year ago. I don't want to get too into it, cuz it's so sad to me, but his passing was sudden, so very sudden. It started the day before New Year's Eve. In the morning he was in the backyard barking at the kiddos playing in the front. He was chewing on his bone that Santa gave him. He was eating. He was sleeping on my bed. O took a picture of him.
This was Christmas Eve. He really wanted to be a lap dog.
This was Christmas Day...Santa brought him a bone.
O took this of Calvin the morning of the day he got sick. I'm so glad she did.
That evening he came up to me, and leaned on my leg, panting heavily, his little chest caving in with deep, laboring breaths. Just like that. We raced him to the emergency vet. There was nothing we could do (okay, this is getting hard now). He was hemorrhaging around his heart. We took him home that night and I slept on the couch next to him and prayed and prayed. And cried. I wasn't ready for this. The next morning, New Year's Eve, we had to make that horrible decision. I don't think I would make it again. It was the worst. I regret it, I regret it, I regret it. I know there was nothing we could do for him, but it really hurts to know we had to do that. I wasn't ready. I question if he was. I know deep down he was, but that question lingers. I'm sorry...if you could see me right now, I'm a puddle of sadness typing this out. I needed to though. I need to talk about it. Remember my boy.
Last night we were talking about him. Funny Calvin moments. One of our favorite stories was how he honked the horn. The girls love to tell this one. We were going for a ride somewhere and as you fellow dog owners know, the phrase, "Go for a ride," is a big dealie to dogs. They know it. He looooved going for a ride and would excitedly jump in the car and go nuts, yellow hair flying everywhere.
Well this one time, the girls and Calvin were getting situated in the car...putting on their seat belts, etc...hubbs and I were still in the house getting things together and we hear the horn honk, followed by little girl laughter. Then we hear A-girl yell in to us from the garage, "Calvin honked the horn!" and then right after that, he honked the horn, again, to reemphasize. Hilarious. He was a big boy--a good 94 pounds-- and had been in the driver's seat, circling in excitement. In his circling, his bottom kept honking the horn. Again, hilarious. A good memory. There's a bunch of those. He was family. Yes, we are those people that talk to our dogs. Include them in family functions and such. Fly them across country for Christmas vacation. Take them to dog therapists. He was with us all the time. And when he wasn't, his hair was.
The girls cried last night for him. My 5-yr-old wept for an hour, in my arms. I hate to see that, but a small part of me is glad for it, as young as she is, I want her to remember him.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to go see Marley & Me. Pretty sure I'm going to have lots of Kleenex in my pocket. Grief is a hard thing. I know some of you are reading and thinking, He's a dog...move on. But I've been through all kinds of grief. I know it well. I know it helps to talk about it. To have the good cry, over the blog entry. Writing has always been my therapy when it comes to grieving. It is my "moving on". And if you're still reading--thanks for helping me get through it.
To lighten the end up here...I've got a little song...cuz you know--I can't cry for long. Pretty soon, I have to laugh.